Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Epic

So, Kaye asked me what my titles are. They're sort of symbolic about some of the elements in my Epic. I'm a big fan of symbolic titles.

I have about 4 main characters. The first third or so of the first book deals with the parents, Sergei and Tatiana. Their children are Aleksei, Yelena, and Mikhail. Leksi goes off to WW1, Mishka gets caught up in the Revolution fighting as a White, and Yelena loses her husband in WW1.

The main theme of the first one is war. Internal war, "war" with parents, "war" with societal expectations, and then a real live war. WW1 to be precise, and then the Russian Revolution and the ensuing civil war. That one is tentatively titled "A Time For War".

The second one moves into a more peaceful time and opens early summer 1922. Leksi is missing, only unknown to them he's in New York. That's part of the story that I haven't totally figured out yet because Amazon *just* shipped the book I need for that 2 days ago! But anyway, I digress.

Wars are over. Except for Mishka figuring out how he fits into the world. He had his entire world turned upside down and everything that was important for him in Russia doesn't matter anymore. So this second one is tentatively called "A Time For Peace".

But I'm still totally buggered on the third one! It goes back to Russia, and is about Mishka's son, Ben. (he marries an American and she wins the name fight) It's during WW2, and then follows him to Moscow while he works at the Embassy and gets caught up in some spy stuff. And meets a girl and falls in love, which was a HUGE no-no in the post-WW2 Soviet Union. If there's any way I can follow the "Time For" thing I will. Now the trilogy itself just needs a name...

It's only taken me 6 years to get this far in the naming process. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if takes another 6 years to come up with the last one and with a series name.

I'm sitting here giggling. I just noticed that my titles are sort of mirroring War And Peace. That amuses me, particularly since I haven't read it yet.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Stumbling over little things

I've been mulling over titles for my Epic. I've hit on two good ones that I like, for the first two books. Still puzzling on the third.

So, I did a search on Amazon to see if my "titles" had been used in fiction recently. Only one of them has, on a Star Trek novel. Not terribly worried about that, lol. While doing that, I quite literally stumbled upon a book that will be most helpful for this particular project.

"What Life Was Like in the Time of War and Peace: Imperial Russia Ad 1696-1917"

WAHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn't even know anything like this existed. It shall be most helpful in making sure I get the little things right. After all, it's those "little things" that breathe life into historical fiction.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Those handy little light bulbs!

I love "light bulb" moments. Especially when they hit at convenient times. Like 5 minutes ago. Having one while brushing your teeth is a lot more convenient than say, on tour or in the shower.

I have this story called Far Above Rubies. You can probably guess what the main point of the plot is just based on the title. He's in the Navy, she's a recently converted Iranian Christian with no sense of self-worth. It's been sitting in my head, unmoving, for at least 3 years. Maybe longer, I've lost track. Because it doesn't have a core conflict!

I've been going back and forth and driving myself crazy trying to find the core conflict. You can't have any story, much less a romance, without some sort of conflict and this story is just that, a straight romance. No suspense or intrigue involved. The suspense angle doesn't work without re-writing Blair's entire history and that just won't do. He will cease to be the person Mariah loves if I do that.

So, I think I've finally hit on a major component of it. And it was all thanks to my dearest friend and "writing buddy" Lisa. I've been bouncing ideas off of her for the last 2 days, and yesterday she mentioned something about pre-marital jitters. So I buried that in my sub-conscious and while brushing my teeth it spit up the answer.

I'm sure there's still pieces of it floating around deep inside my brain. They'll come out in their own time I'm sure. It always does. And in the meantime, I can start filling some holes in the storyline and move forward on this thing! I can hear Lisa jumping up and down and shouting all the way from Florida.